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providers in Australia

Best Wishes for the Easter holidays

Tuesday, April 7 2015

I do hope everyone had the chance for some quality time with their friends and family.

I will keep it short this week as I know many of you may still be on holidays.

I have no doubt we will quickly be back into the rush of education in the coming days. It is that part of the cycle.

ACPET is developing a professional development program to support the implementation of our new Codes. This is very important as we try and lift both ends of tertiary education. That is we want to significantly raise the minimum bar for entry into ACPET, but we also want to celebrate and further improve the absolute best in the sector. Both are challenging enough.

However that is how we can make a difference.

I read over Easter the proposed changes to My Skills. I absolutely support making performance data as transparent as possible.

There is a very clear fact across tertiary education. That is students are the ones selecting private providers in large numbers. It is not government, it is not funders, it is students and industry.  Ever since the advent of contestability (in VET) back in around 1982, students, when they are given the chance, pick private providers in overwhelming numbers. While some may yell that is because of a range of inappropriate recruitment activities, the elephant in the room is that the majority select private providers because they see it as a better way to get their qualification. More responsive, more innovative and yes higher quality.

This does not discount the fact that because of poorly designed government programs and a lack of ethical behaviour in some that poor practices have emerged that need to be stamped out urgently. This behaviour extends across the public/private divide and must be stopped!

Anyway back to My Skills. I have no doubt that improved information on provider performance will help students make informed choice. All data on enrolments, completions and related information should be available.

The notion that government may add student ratings is an interesting move. A ‘Trip Advisor‘ approach does seem to have merit. I do suggest that this needs to allow a ‘thousand flowers bloom’ and not be overly regulated. The concept may therefore need to be at arm’s length from government to truly be transparent. Notwithstanding this element it is a pleasing move.

I have no doubt my good friends at NCVER can solve this one.

I look forward to the coming week.

Rod Camm


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